Lo Mein with Pork Dumpling Meatballs

20190802_200631This recipe from Vrunka on Food52 makes great pork potstickers, but it makes wayyyy too much filling for a single package of potsticker wrappers! I couldn’t just throw away all of that perfectly good filling, so I decided to implement it in tackling a personal challenge of mine: making at-home versions of take out classics that actually taste like the stuff you get at the restaurant. I’m always wary of trying a new pad thai or chicken tikka masala recipe, because inevitably it doesn’t taste exactly right and what’s the point of going through all the effort to make something that will be slightly disappointing? But I persevered, and by relying on help from a few online sources, this lo mein recipe is exactly what I wanted.

The details:

Jump to recipe

Thought process:

By aiming for a “perfect” replica of a take-out classic, I was seriously CONFINING myself in this recipe. To figure out what should be in it, I literally looked at pictures of lo mein on the internet and wrote down what I could see. The big essential wildcard was the sauce, and for that I didn’t take a chance and relied on the balance of flavors from the wisdom of others. I was fairly confident that the meatballs would work out, but since they were basically served on top I knew I could remove them if necessary.

Below, the recipe:

Lo Mein with Pork Dumpling Meatballs
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20190727_142053Meatballs
Based on the dumpling filling from this recipe from Vrunka on Food52

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup green onions, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons ground pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  1. In a large bowl combine the pork, ginger, cilantro, garlic, green onions, salt and pepper
  2. In a small bowl, whisk egg, sesame oil, soy sauce, and cornstarch, then mix into the pork mixture with your hands until well combined
  3. Roll the mixture into ½ – 1 inch balls
  4. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over med-hi heat
  5. Add meatballs ~10 at a time and cook for 1 min per side until cooked through
  6. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain

Sauce
Based on this recipe from Pinch of Yum

  • 4 Tbsp tamari
  • 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  1. Mix together water and cornstarch in a medium bowl, then whisk in remaining ingredients

20190802_194448Lo Mein

  • 1 carrot, cut into a small julienne
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ red bell pepper, small julienne
  • ½ pound green beans, cut in 2 inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp mirin
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts sliced separately
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 pound pasta (ideally spaghetti or ramen), cooked according to package directions, save cooking water
  • cilantro for garnish
  1. Heat oil in wok or large skillet on high
  2. Add all vegetables and stir fry 5 min until mushrooms are brown
  3. Add mirin to deglaze pan, then mix in half the sauce
  4. Add the meatballs to warm through
  5. Mix all together with pasta and remaining sauce, and loosen sauce with pasta cooking water
  6. garnish with cilantro

Rating:

5/5 stars. 5 stars

This was great and tasted remarkably like Chinese takeout lo mein! That includes being quite salty. I think that’s mostly par for the course, but if you wanted it to be less salty you could use less soy sauce and replace the volume with water. The meatballs were especially not to be missed, and despite being something I don’t usually associate with lo mein they fit right in. I made my meatballs many days ahead and just stored them in the fridge and they reheated perfectly, meaning that, with some prep, this is also pretty easy to make on a weeknight.

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